Italian Sausage Calzones

Calzones have a very special place in my heart.  When I was growing up my mom and I would often spend a day together at the mall.  We would walk around, shop, and always visit the mall’s food court for lunch.  I always chose one of two things — a hamburger from Branding Iron or a huge calzone from Luca’s Pizza!

 

Needless to say I have a huge love for calzones, but never ever eat them.  This is a version I can get on board with.  These bad boys are gluten free, grain free, and even nut free.  These calzones worked very well with a mixture of coconut flour, tapioca flour, and potato flour — they’re flaky on the outside and soft on the inside.  I was very pleased that the dough held together as well as it did.  With the help of the tapioca, and some added grassfed gelatin — the dough is pliable enough that they can easily be folded over.  The perfect little pocket to hold whatever fillings you want!  Feel free to get creative on this one.

What’s even better is that they’re filled with the best hot Italian sausage I have ever had.  I always use Mulay’s Sausage because their ingredient list is exactly what any health-conscious sausage lover would be looking for!  Pork, water, salt, red pepper, black pepper, and spices.  Their sausage is gluten free, nitrate free, MSG free, preservative free, sugar free, and soy free.  Score!  Oh, and it tastes really good, too.  🙂

Sometimes I make my own sauce, but in a time crunch there are a few brands available at my store that I feel safe using.  Feel free to use your favorite homemade marinara sauce recipe, or you can use a store-purchased one like I did.  The ingredients in my sauce were Italian San Marzano tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, salt, basil, white pepper, and black pepper.  Most sauces in a jar have added sugar or nasty oils like canola or soybean.  Make sure to watch out for those things.

 

Ingredients for Dough

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1-1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup potato flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp. grassfed gelatin (I use Great Lakes)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup organic palm shortening, melted

Ingredients for Filling

  • 1 lb. hot Italian sausage (I use Mulay’s)
  • 1/4 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp. dried basil
  • 24 small pepperoni slices, (Applegate or another uncured brand)
  • 4 oz. grassfed mozzarella cheese, grated (I use Kalona Supernatural)
  • 1 cup marinara sauce + extra for dipping

 

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add sausage, break it up well, and cook until it is brown.
  3. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, and basil — continue to cook until the onion and mushrooms are soft.  Set meat mixture aside to cool a bit.
  4. Meanwhile, mix your dough up.  In a large bowl combine coconut flour, tapioca flour, potato flour, salt and garlic powder.
  5. In a separate bowl add water and sprinkle in your gelatin.  Allow it to sit for a minute or so.  Then, whisk in your eggs and palm shortening.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and knead with your hands until a uniformed dough has formed.  It will be pretty sticky at first — it will become easier to handle once it is fully combined.
  7. Divide the dough into 8 equal balls.  Take each ball, flatten it, and roll it out with your hand or a rolling pin.  You want a disk that is about 5-6 inches in diameter.  I was able to roll my dough out easily with a rolling pin; however, if you notice that your dough is sticking you can use parchment paper or extra tapioca flour for dusting.
  8. To prepare each calzone — start by brushing a small amount of sauce on one half of a disk.  Layer sausage, 3 pepperoni slices, and cheese.  Carefully pull the un-filled half of dough up and over your filling.  Press down the edges to make sure the filling won’t leak out.  Flatten the edges of the dough with a fork.  Continue this process until all (8) calzones are made.

 

On a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet — arrange your calzones so that they are not touching.  Brush each of them with egg wash (1 egg and a tbsp. water work well).  Cut 3 small slits on the top of each calzone with a sharp knife.

Bake the calzones for 30 minutes or until browned on the top.

 

You can serve some extra marinara sauce on the side for dipping.  Or, you can smother the whole calzone in warm sauce — like I used to do!

 

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One Response to “Italian Sausage Calzones”

  1. […] likes to call them.  The pizza crust is also a favorite of mine.  The dough that I use for my Italian Sausage Calzones, with a few modifications, works very well as a pizza […]

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